I haven’t been posting any blogposts this year, not because I didn’t want to, but because I haven’t taken any photos. Much like last year all flying events were cancelled and traveling was postponed until the second half of the year. So you can imagine I was happy when I was invited to shoot a Ducati Panigale. I hadn’t done an automotive shoot since I shot for Mercedes AMG last December so I was ready for it!
The plan was to shoot at two different locations and that on one of the few warm and sunny days that Belgium had this summer. Both locations were modern with a lot of concrete. I thought this would match the aggressive look of the Panigale and make the few colors of the bike pop. The thing is I hadn’t shot at any of these locations and I hadn’t even been to one of them. I did my research on Google Maps, looking at the position of the sun, possible backgrounds, vantage points, etc.
As per usual, the original plan and reality were very different. I was supposed to be able to shoot from above on the first location, but as it turns out I could barely make it in a safe way and the angle was off anyway. So I had to wing it a little but still ended up making some photos that I really like, making use of everything that this location had to offer. I do regret taking the detail shots out in the sun instead of the shadow. They would have been better and would have fit in with the other series.
The second location was a tunnel and a small road flanked by concrete slabs. It was early evening by then and the light was getting warmer and less harsh. So I went for another series of static shots with the warm light. We also tried to get some rolling shots. Basically I stood in the middel of the road and the bike came straight at me only to pass me by at the last second. Knowing I’m not good at panning I also took some photos were I took some more distance from the bike. In the end it turned out much better than I had anticipated. Finally I also took some photos in the tunnel. The light looked bad and the photos didn’t look like much when I saw them on my camera, so I only took a handful. Once I saw them on the big screen at home I did realize they had a lot of potential. Probably the biggest regret of the day…
I shot with the regular kit. Fujifilm X-T2 and a 35mm lens. The only exception is that I used a 56mm for the first time. All photos at the first location were shot with that one. For some of the rolling shots I used the 18-135.
For the post processing I used a wide range of my presets. For the first location I went for a colder, more desaturated look because there weren’t many colors to work with in the first place. It makes the bike stand out more. All editing was done in Lightroom. Retouching, and there was a lot of it, was done in Photoshop.
For the second location I went for a warm edit that matched the original lighting. I did blow up the highlights quite a bit for the tunnel photos, but I think it really works. The rolling shots turned out quite good, but I still did some tweaking in Photoshop to make them a bit more spectacular.
List of gear I use for automotive photography. Thoughts, comments, questions? Let me know in the comment section below. Enjoyed this post? Make sure to hit the subscribe button below!